Background: There were 35 265 patients receiving renal replacement therapy in Canada at the end of 2007 with 11.0% of patients on peritoneal dialysis (PD) and 48.9% on hemodialysis (HD) and a remaining 40.1% living with a functioning kidney transplant. There are no contemporary studies examining PD survival relative to HD in Canada. The objective was to compare survival outcomes for incident patients starting on PD as compared to HD in Canada.
Methods: Using data from the Canadian Organ Replacement Register, the Cox proportional hazards (PH) model was employed to study survival outcomes for patients initiating PD as compared to HD in Canada from 1991 to 2004 with follow-up to 31 December 2007. Comparisons of outcomes were made between three successive calendar periods: 1991-95, 1996-2000 and 2001-04 with the relative risk of death of incident patients calculated using an intent-to-treat (ITT) analysis with proportional and non-PH models using a piecewise exponential survival model to compare adjusted mortality rates.
Results: In the ITT analysis, overall survival for the entire study period favored PD in the first 18 months and HD after 36 months. However, for the 2001-04 cohort, survival favored PD for the first 2 years and thereafter PD and HD were similar. Among female patients > 65 years with diabetes, PD had a 27% higher mortality rate.
Conclusions: Overall, HD and PD are associated with similar outcomes for end-stage renal disease treatment in Canada.